Editorials

Mandatory graduate entry to nursing

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c3591 (Published 09 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3591
  1. Pippa Gough, assistant director leadership (job share),
  2. Abigail Masterson, assistant director leadership (job share)
  1. 1Health Foundation, London WC2E 9RA
  1. abigail.masterson_pippa.gough{at}health.org.uk

    The balance between theory and practice is more important than academic achievement

    Earlier this year the report from the Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery in England made the controversial recommendation that nurses should have a degree to enter the profession.1 Although the commission was set up by the previous prime minister, this recommendation met with support from the new government within days of it taking office. Anne Milton, the new parliamentary undersecretary of state for health with responsibility for nursing, herself a nurse, has already gone on record as being one hundred per cent supportive. In the nursing press she said that although the government hadn’t yet published a policy, graduate only entry might be introduced by 2011-13, and that undoubtedly all registered nurses need a degree.2

    Over the past decade, views on graduate nurses have often resembled tabloid headlines, repeating the usual prejudices that nurses with a degree are uncaring and “too posh to wash” and that making nursing a degree entry profession will prevent those who aren’t academically gifted from following their chosen vocation. Moreover, one broadsheet suggested …

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